Teaching

I will not be teaching during the 2016/17 academic year as I will be on research leave. Here are courses that I regularly teach (with syllaby).

Poli 517A              The State in Comparative Perspective

This graduate seminar offers an introduction to the study of the state in comparative politics, international relations, and political sociology. We begin by exploring the political development of the state and its basic institutions over the course of the past millennium of European history, examining both material and ideational factors shaping state development including warfare, trade, religion, and nationalism. We will then study alternative paths of state development in the post-colonial world, with a focus on the role played by slavery, colonialism, political geography, and the international state system. Implicit in this analysis is the question of whether the theoretical insights gained from the analysis of European state development can carry over to other regions and time periods. In the final part of the course will turn to questions of state strength and state-society relations: What capacities do states possess and under what conditions can these capacities be fully developed?  Why do some states succeed while others fail?  What is the relationship between states and the societies over which they rule?  Should we conceive of the state as autonomous from society or do states and societies mutually constitute each other? We conclude the course by synthesizing the theoretical contributions of the last two decades of state scholarship.

Poli 422B            Gender and Public Policy 

This seminar explores the intersection of gender and public policy. We begin with a discussion of the nature of feminism, difference, and equality, and examine major strands of modern and post-modern feminist theory. The second part of the course will explore the role that public policy can play in overcoming gender inequality. We will study gendered policy issues including family law, violence, the wage gap, the division of housework and care, work-family balance, abortion and reproductive choice, prostitution and pornography, gender equality and multiculturalism, and voting and political representation. Throughout these discussions, we will grapple with the following set of questions: what is the nature of gender inequality? What are its causes? What is the proper role of the state in the struggle to overcome gender inequality? How should the line between public and private be drawn? What are the limitations and potential dangers of using policy to resolve problems of gender inequality?

Poli 328C         The Comparative Politics of Immigration

With optional Community Based Experiential Learning placement

Immigration presents the rich democracies of Western Europe, North America, and the South Pacific with a complex policy dilemma. On the one hand, economic immigration provides policymakers with possible solutions to domestic labour shortages and the fiscal pressures of aging populations. The normative and legal obligations of liberal states further commit their governments to protect those fleeing political persecution and reunite families.  On the other hand, public concerns about the cultural integration of diverse migrant populations often render immigrant admission and settlement a politically risky undertaking. In many liberal democracies, anti-immigrant sentiment is on the rise, as citizens question the capacity of newcomers to become fully integrated into their host societies. This course provides students with the analytical tools to understand the dynamics driving the politics of immigration in advanced democracies. We will study the factors that shape the making of immigration policy: history, public opinion, interest groups, political elites, and the institutions that mediate the interactions among these actors. We will then engage with the normative question of whether liberal democracies should have the right to close their borders and exclude non-citizens from access to their territory. The course will then turn to the politics of integration. We will examine the economic, social, and cultural integration of newcomers and grapple with the challenges that linguistic and religious diversity poses to host societies. We end the course with investigating the challenge of immigration control. We take a look at how states try to control their borders, and what the consequences of these control efforts have been.

You can access my teaching evaluations here (UBC CWL login required).

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